People are growing more and more environmentally conscious nowadays. Their realization couldn’t have come at a better time. The world is teetering on the edge of a disaster brought about by global warming. Some say it is too late to fix things, while others claim global warming to be a hoax. Regardless of these assertions, many people have made it cool to be more proactive in their attempt to save the world.

Thus, sustainable and environment-friendly products are born. From solar-powered houses to sustainable dental hygiene kits, people have got it all figured out. In truth, bamboo toothbrushes have taken over the world. After all, we cannot change our lifestyle overnight. Switching to bamboo from a plastic toothbrush seems like the safest and most straightforward way to go.

Plastic toothbrushes, once discarded, add to the 448 million tons of plastic garbage every year. As we know, plastic isn’t biodegradable—it doesn’t break down. There’s also the fact that plastic toothbrushes and straws are some of the most challenging products to recycle, making the latter the inferior option as opposed to bamboo toothbrushes.

What is a bamboo toothbrush?

Bamboo toothbrushes are just like regular plastic ones in the sense that they also work quite well in terms of cleaning our teeth and mouths. The only difference between them is that one is made of sustainable and environment-friendly material while the other is not. Quite a bit of difference if you think about it.

Contrary to how it may seem, bamboo toothbrushes aren’t new in the market. It is one of the oldest types of toothbrushes in 15th century China. Then plastic was invented, and bamboo handles were phased out. Now, it’s back with a vengeance.

Why is bamboo considered eco-friendly?

Yes, it is. It’s biodegradable, which means it breaks down into compost once you discard it after removing the nylon bristles. Compared with plastic toothbrushes, it does have a smaller ecological footprint. If you want to recycle the bamboo handles, you may also do so. Since they’re bamboo, they’re pretty much valuable for gardening.

Bamboo is also one of the most resilient plants in the world. It multiplies quickly, needs little to no care, and doesn’t think much of pesticides or fertilizer. That said, it’s a never-ending resource with untapped potential.

How do bamboo toothbrushes work?

The same way its plastic counterparts do, we can safely assume. When choosing a bamboo toothbrush, try not to pick one at random. Be as discerning as you were when you were shopping for plastic toothbrushes. Make sure to check out the size of the head, the friendliness of the handle, and the softness of the bristles. Choose the bamboo toothbrush with a head that will fit comfortably in your mouth. Moreover, be sure that the handle is easy to grip and that it doesn’t slip or break easily.

According to the American Dental Association, you should still replace your bamboo toothbrush with a new one every three months or when you see damage to the bristles. This should ensure that you have properly working equipment ready to clean your teeth, gums, and tongue whenever needed. If you wait too long, the toothbrush will no longer be effective, even when it seems like it is still intact.

Of course, if you are unsure about switching to bamboo toothbrushes, you should talk to your dentist. They should be able to tell you whether or not it is a good idea, as well as recommend to you some brands that they find particularly effective.

How long do they last?

You’re probably thinking that since they are biodegradable, they’re probably not going to last as long as the plastic ones. But they do. If you keep to the dentist-approved three to four months of use, your bamboo toothbrush should do fine.

However, it would be best if you cared for it better. As it is made of organic material, it isn’t as impenetrable as its plastic competition. Nothing too fussy, don’t you worry. All you need to do is rinse and dry it properly before storing it. Yep, you read that right. With proper care, you shouldn’t need to worry about its life cycle, as long as you follow your dentist’s recommendation with regards to the replacement.

How many years before plastic toothbrushes decompose?

If a plastic toothbrush takes almost a thousand years to decompose, a bamboo toothbrush doesn’t. If you require more persuasion to switch to bamboo toothbrushes, think about how the first manufactured toothbrush back in the ’30s is still around, somewhere, unable to break down and go back to the earth. On the upside, plastic toothbrushes are nigh indestructible. On the downside, they are near-indestructible, and they’ll be around longer than you.

A bamboo toothbrush, however, decomposes between a few weeks to ten years at the most. Its decomposition depends on the soil, atmosphere, and temperature conditions. The fastest decomposition requires an industrial composter to break it down. However, if you smash it into smaller pieces, it’ll take around four to six months. The longest decomposition will happen if you just throw it away in your backyard.

Does it decompose? Yes, it does. Bamboo toothbrushes are natural and fully biodegradable, and bamboos are a sustainable and renewable resource with unlimited potential. That said, most bamboo toothbrushes are also 95-100% natural, so yes, it does decompose after a while.

Bamboo or plastic?

If your only requirement for a toothbrush is to be efficient, you should have no problems using the bamboo-handled ones. They work the same as regular plastic toothbrushes. The only difference is that with bamboo toothbrushes, you get to brush your teeth without anxiety about how you’re polluting or contributing to global warming with your choice of dental care equipment. Not only does it remove food debris and plaque from your teeth, but it also gives you a guilt-free brushing routine.

If you have doubts about switching, don’t be too hard on yourself. Decide after you visit your dentist, instead.